At the end of July the extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits expired. With Congress at a stalemate over an extension, the president signed an executive order offering states $300 a week in unemployment; 12 states have applied, Florida is not one of them.
In a statement to Eyewitness News the Governor’s office said, “Florida is currently reviewing guidance issued by the Department of Labor and the Federal Emergency Management Administration to determine the best course of action that will preserve the state’s financial stability while providing important assistance to Floridians in need.”
Because the president cannot appropriate money, the executive order only redirects $44 million in unused money from FEMA to be used by the states for unemployment. Originally states would have had to pay a 25% match to access the funds (pay $100 to draw down $300). But with state budgets already stretched thin due to the pandemic, the federal government revised this and allowed access the $300 a week.
So far Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah have requested the money. Texas and California have filed requests as well.
More than 3.5 million Floridians have filed for unemployment since March with another 66,000 initial jobless claims last week.
Florida has the lowest weekly unemployment in the nation at $275 a week.